How I am starting a "new" relationship with my "old" mother.
Many of you dear people have kindly followed my drama with mama.
Mother wanted a 2nd unnecessary hip surgery, I have 3/5 sibs who are completely uninterested in helping out...mother lives with brother and his family---she's a bit of a pill to deal with--we're up to date, right?
Anyhow---the first week of Dec. we had a huge blowout and Mother told me to get out of her life. I took her at her word and didn't talk to her (except for one 10 minute exchange when I had to buy something for her friend) since then--so more than 2 months have gone by.
As I had been going to her place minimally 2-3 times a week and cleaning for her, I had stopped that, didn't call and let myself "heal" from the hurt. I did hear, via the family grapevine, that she was wondering why I was being so distant. Duh. She knew.
I knew I'd not let this go forever, but I needed to get MY head straight about our relationship. After a couple of months, a few therapy sessions where we focused on working on a healthy relationship where I didn't let her hurt/use me, I ran by her place for a while on Monday. She was happy to see me, she behaved and said nothing inflammatory or mean. I left my coat on and she "got" that I wasn't there to clean or do anything but have a very short chat.
We didn't talk about anything of importance, I didn't bring up anything about her health. I did notice that she has seemingly lost the ability to find the words she wants to use, and I do not know if this is new. Having not seen her for a couple of months made me look at her in a different light.
She was denied any further surgeries and referred out for PT (she won't go) and for palliative care (she won't go). She seemed to be pain free, where 2 months ago all you'd hear was complaints about how much pain she was in.
She did say her place was getting filthy and I kind of ignored her. (My niece has been being paid for the last 3 years to clean and since I was already doing it, she didn't really learn what to do---now she has to). I didn't take out the recycling or fuss at her about tripping hazards in the halls. Just chatted. Then I left.
It felt very good to leave without the heaviness in my chest of having made her angry or having to listen to her woes. I didn't stay long enough to get into anything deep. This is the "new relationship"--the old one is done.
Felt good. I did not have to "walk away". I can still have some kind of relationship with her, I just have to be tough with myself and not stay too long or try to clean her place or have an opinion that's different from hers.
I think it might be OK. Actually, this is huge. Until I stepped away (and we did talk as sibs about getting her in home care for PT, paying for a REAL cleaning lady, and possibly some aides to take her places)....I had not realized how my anger and frustration were eating me alive.
Also, I realized that my sibs are NEVER going to really step it up. End of story there. I do feel better about it all--I always have hated conflict and now I think I can control having any more with her.